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More misery as Devizes Road is set to close again
BUSINESSES in Old Town are bracing themselves for a fortnight of disruption as more roadworks are set to start on Monday.
Drivers will be forced to find a different route when work improving traffic signals starts on Monday and the road will be completely closed for a week from March 11 for resurfacing.
Owners of businesses have urged shoppers to visit despite the disruption, but they are expecting trade to be hit.
It is the second time in six months the road has been closed. In October Thames Water had to work on a collapsed drain.
Then the Old Town Business and Professional Association were approached by a number of Old Town businesses affected by the work at the junction of Wood Street and Devizes Road in regard to compensation, and businesses have said this time could be worse.
Hadi Brooks, of Ray’s Ice Cream and The Cafe, said: “I expect it to have a much bigger impact for us because last time was during off season for us; now we pick up trade going into spring.
“We will still be open as usual and want people to come and pay us a visit.”
Mike Booth, of MTM Mobility Ltd, said that last time the road was shut it was as if the shop had closed down.
He said: “With our business our customers rely on being able to access us by the road, it is not like other businesses where people can park and walk to them.
“They are even closing off the loading bay because it would cost them more not to.
“When the road closed last time I think we lost about 75 per cent of our business.”
The work the council have planned is between Wood Street and just past Britannia Place.
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We will be replacing the signal crossing and carrying out preparatory work for the resurfacing of Devizes Road from Monday and this is expected to last until next Friday.
“The road will remain open and temporary traffic lights will be in operation.
“On Monday, March 11, through to the following Friday, the resurfacing work will take place along an 80- metre stretch between Joiner Lane and beyond Britannia Place.
“The road will be closed and diversion signs will be in place.
“We have placed signs along the road to warn drivers of the forthcoming work and we wrote to local business several weeks ago.
“There will still be pedestrian access to shops along Devizes Road.”